Summer Drink Series: Ginger Lime Rickey

My boyfriend and I discovered the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines. You know what I’m talking about right? It looks like this.

If you haven’t seen one of these then it will seriously change the way you look at soda. It has over 100 flavor options. You can spirit zero flavored with cherry or strawberries or orange or lime or lemon, really anything your little heart desires. I’m a sucker for cherry Coke – Zero but my boyfriend is more adventurous than me. He got a ginger ale flavored with lime and loved it so much that he convinced me to make a ginger lime rickey at home since it’s not readily available at the grocery store.

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Current Favorites – Summer 2014


Hello Sweeties!! It’s been a long time since I posted a favs video! These are my favorite kind of beauty videos to film because I get to talk about stuff that suits my fancy.

List of Products I mentioned:

Bestope 4 piece Professtional Eye Brushes Set

Pantene Age Defy Shampoo & Conditioner

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin

Lay’s Wasabi Ginger – GO VOTE!!!

Converse “Peppermint” Chuck Taylor Fresh Colors

Teen Wolf & Finding Carter


Berry Banana PB Shake

I have lived most of my life judging those who drink those protein filled shakes. You know the type, I don’t want say Gym Junkie or Gym Rat but this guys comes to mind:

Recently though I’ve become a shake drinking addict. It’s something I knew I would have to do for my pre-op & post-op diet but I just didn’t think I would enjoy it. I was wrong…so very wrong. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I figured I would share with you guys.


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Goodbye Old Friend…

I know my site looks different. I recently made the scary jump from blogger (a blogging platform I’ve been using since it’s infancy) to wordpress. I recently read an interesting article about Blogger vs. WordPress and it scared the heck out of me. I’m a google-enthusiast  but I recently found out that Google owned my blogger blog and could delete for whatever reason. You may be saying, “Why would they care about your little blog?” I don’t know but I spend a lot of time and energy and I don’t want to chance it. Hence, you are now reading this blog from the wordpress platform.

Please bare with me while I become accustomed to wordpress, it’s all new and exciting to me.

Thats all for now.


Non Scale Victory: I NEED NEW BRAS!

As a larger busted lady finding a well fitting bra has always been a struggle. I seriously went from a flat chested 4th grader to a large C cup 5th grader. My poor mother who is barely an A cup didn’t what to do with me. For the longest time, I wrapped my chest with ace bandages to make them smaller much like Roberta Martin from Now and Then. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s that I was fitted for a bra and it was such liberating experience. When you go for years wearing the wrong kind of bra or the wrong size and then you put on an impeccably well fitting bra – it changes your life. I walked out of the store with a bounce in my step. If you haven’t been fit for a bra recently, GO AND GET FITTED!

Since then I’ve gone up and down in my bra sizes which is frustrating. Having a well fitting foundation is so essential when you wear clothes. If your bra is too small, the straps are falling and always adjusting yourself then you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes. With the weight I’ve lost in the last few months I have lost the most in my bust. I have lost a total almost 4 inches around my bust which means I have gone down 3 sizes in my bras. This would be great and it definitely is a non-scale victory except I now have no bras to wear to the gym. I feel I’m not going to knock someone out while I’m on the elliptical – the girls are just everywhere. I’m going tomorrow to buy new bras.

Here’s a funny related article from buzzfeed!

Anxiety Filled Situation: The Gym.

Paul and I have been talking about getting a gym membership for a while now. It’s been one of those things though that we talk about like how we talk about having kids some day. It will happen but it’s in the very distant future. It wasn’t until the other day that he called the gym and got all the information on membership fees that I realized he was serious. He asked me if I wanted to be added to his membership now or later because I’ve said in the past that I’m not really gym ready. It sounds asinine but I feel like I need to lose some weight before I’m ready to walk into a gym. I know my thought process is flawed but it’s just how I feel, alright?! The gym is an alien universe for me and I know it become less foreign but for now I know I will feel out of place.

The few pros about this gym are:
  • all 3 facilities are 24 hours which is perfect for my third shift life.
  • the closest gym offers tons of classes and a women’s only fitness room
  • theres a pool at one of the facilities!!! I love swimming.
  • Personal trainers are offered which would be nice to book some personal training sessions once I’ve lost some weight and need to up my game.
So today we down to the gym and signed up. When we pulled up, I started to feel sick to my stomach. I knew I would be nervous but this was some pretty serious anxiety I was dealing with which came out of no where. I finally confessed to Paul how I was feeling which he comforted me and reassured me that it would be OK. “In a year, this will be old hat and going to the gym will be part of your routine,” he stated. He was right. I’m on this road to a healthier life and even though going to the gym freaks me out I had to do this for myself. I can’t wait to go tomorrow. I’m just going to wear my headphones and try to tune out all the other people who are there.

I’m doing this for me and not for anyone else


Plus-Size Mentality : the struggles are real.

The only thing I’ve ever known is being overweight. That sounds melodramatic but I’ve been chubby, heavy, overweight, and obese my entire life in that order. I keep on thinking about how I will feel after my surgery. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for all the obstacles that I know I will face after being “sleeved.”

One of them is letting my guard down. I have used my weight as a security blanket for most of my life. I have never walked into a bar thinking, “What guy is going to buy me a drink?” because I’m not the type of girl who gets drinks bought for her. I’m the sturdy one. There’s this great sketch that Amy Schumer does that I’m referencing. I’ll leave this video here for you because I think it’s hilarious and poignant.
I’ve been the “fat” friend who’s helped her “skinnier” friends meet guys in bars so I definitely don’t go home with them. I’ve always been neutral territory with guys. It wasn’t until I met my partner that I started to think of myself as a sexual person. I had always friend-zoned myself with the guys I had liked because if there wasn’t a possibility to be in a sexual relationship with them I would settle for being their friend. It also goes without saying that most of the men I was attracted to were not attracted to me because thicker girls just can’t compete with Vogue skinny. I had to be the loud mouth, sassy pants, or comedian to get any kind of attention from men. It wasn’t until I was older that my friends and family helped me break down my wall of security and made me understand my own beautyinner and outer. Don’t get me wrong, I feel as though I’m a fairly confident person but it took years to get to where I am now. Of course, I have days where I feel like a turkey who has been fattened for Thanksgiving when a pair of jeans don’t fit me like they use to. I also have those moments when I put on a cute outfit (Now finding a cute outfit is the real challenge but we’ll talk about that later) and feel like a million dollars but the feelings were never confirmed by my male counterparts.

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Summer Drink Series : Mint Lemonade

Our neighbors came over a few weeks ago and brought over this deliciously refreshing drink so I can’t take full credit for this recipes. (Thanks David & Kami). The only thing I changed was I made it with the healthier version of lemonade.

1 packet of calorie-free/sugar-free lemonade 
5 cups of ice
A handful of mint leaves

Combine the ice, mint and about 2 cups of water and blend. The consistency will be of a wet slush. Adjust ice if too watery or water if too slushy. It’s all up to you.

Pour your mint slush into a pitcher and add the lemonade mixture. Mix in the rest of the water following the drink mix instructions. I like to use a little less water as the ice will melt. 

Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes before serving. It is best when the flavors have a chance to marry.

Gastric Sleeve Update: Pre-Op

Today I had my monthly meeting with my nutritionist. It went incredibly well. I lost another 4.6 lbs!!!! I had to restrain myself from doing a happy dance in the middle of the doctor’s office. I’ve always assumed the scale was WAY more at the doctor’s office than mine own but I think it’s cause I usually weigh myself naked at home. (If it was acceptable to weigh in the nude at the doctor’s I would totally do it.) So before I left this morning for my appointment I weighed myself so I could compare the two. And come to find out, they are exactly the same which gives me some peace of mind going forward. It’s shame it took 5 months into the program to put those two together.

My meeting with my nutritionist, who is usually a straight-forward sometime even icey lady, went amazingly. She was in a fantastic mood which was a nice change of pace. We chatted about my diet which I track using the ‘Lose It’ which I printed out screen shots going back a month for insurance purposes. She encouraged me to eat more fruits which is always my downfall. After we were done she asked me to sit tight as I was to meet with my surgeon again to talk about my surgery and date. My mind started to whirl as I wasn’t suppose to meet with my surgeon until my last meeting which is in August. The nutritionist explained I may not need to come to my last meeting as I am doing so well. Although I was flattered by her encouragement, I was literally freaking out because I wasn’t prepared to talk about my surgery for real. It’s been this idea in my head that I’ve been talking about for months and then all of a sudden it’s tethered to reality by a date and surgeon who will be performing the actual surgery.

I waited a nerveracking 20 minutes before a nurse came in and explained, “We’re just going to wait for your last appointment before you meet with the doctor.’ It was a bittersweet moment. I had built it up in my head for the last 20 minutes that I was going to get my surgery in August (maybe the very latest early September) and I would be fully recovered by Halloween. Not the case which is fine.

So I’m still on track to get my potential surgery date sometime next month. Wish me luck!

If you’re interested in more rambling about my pre-op surgery life, please feel free to watch my vlog below.

If not it’s ok. I understand. I’m not hurt just disappointed.

Birthday, ‘Tammy’, and a .com

What an exciting last several days I’ve had!

Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we?

Friday, July 11, 2014.

A couple of friends and I went out for a dinner and movie. Dinner was good while the conversation was even better. After dinner we waltzed around downtown Iowa city and ate some ice cream. Then we headed to see Tammy. Now I was not expecting to like it as much as I did but quite honestly I thought it had some really endearing moments. I have really love Melissa McCarthy since her days on Gilmore Girls but recently I feel like her career centers around the fact that she is overweight which is aggravating. So I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel about her new movie. Well there are plenty of fat jokes but at the heart of the movie it’s about growing up and taking care of one another. The thing that gravitated me to the movie is the fact that Melissa McCarthy and her husband wrote the screenplay and then her husband directed it. I hope Melissa McCarthy starts making movies that showcase her as a human being with feelings rather than an overweight slob caricature.

Side note and possible spoiler: There is also a really misplaced love story that runs throughout the movie that doesn’t make sense and feels really forced but I’ll forgive it.

Midnight-thirty July 12, 2014 (My Birthday)

When I arrived home from a night out with my friends, Paul decided to surprise me with some cupcakes. I would insert a picture here but my stomach took precedent over my need to document the deliciousness. Let’s just they were amazing and one had bacon in it. YES, bacon in and on a cupcake, I know. Wipe your drool.

After my birthday cupcakes, he surprised me with a 3 part gift (I’m so spoiled). The first part was a couple of canisters of color film for my camera. I’ve had this camera for over 4 years but when I moved from Massachusetts to Iowa I decided to leave it behind. Well this past trip to Massachusetts sparked my want to get back into film photography so I lugged it back to Iowa with us. The 2nd part involved a wine gift bag that wasn’t filled with wine. As I peeled back the tissue paper, that I can almost guarantee my boyfriend did not arrange himself, I saw this little guy:

I have to admit. I squealed like a 5 year old. I’ve been throwing around the idea about getting a table top tripod but I never thought Paul ever listened. I have to confess. I’m always talking about what I would want if I had more money but I always thought it went on deaf ears. I was tunnel-visioned with my new tripod that I had completely forgot about part 3.
Paul set me up on the couch and told me to close my eyes. A few moments later, he placed a rectangle package on my lap. When I opened my eyes, I saw 2 word. Cowboy Studios. For those outside of the world or photography or film, these words may not mean much but I almost lost my shit. I looked at Paul and then at the package and then back up at Paul. “No.” I gasped. He nodded yes. This when I started tearing at the box just so I set up this bad boy:
I turned into a kid on christmas morning who NEEDED to have their bike put together so they could ride it around in the living room immediately. Paul helped me set up the lighting system which I rewarded him by making him my first subject of my new professional lighting setup. Ringo ended up sitting for a couple of pictures but Paul is a better sport than him.

Paul and Ringo

Ringo protecting his toy

My favorite picture of my boys! ♥

July 12th-13th, 2014

Paul and I went to Des Moines the following day for the rest of my birthday. I didn’t want a big fuss to be made because it’s pretty insignificant year. 29 is no biggie. It’s the big 3-0 that is going be fun. Nonetheless, Paul and I wanted to get out of town. The rest of the weekend was filled with good food and great people. We got some really yummy Vietnamese food.

This is what was left of my Beef and Lemongrass Vermicelli Salad.

We stayed up late for some asian fusion Mexican food at this awesome place. Then in the morning, we got some grease spoon breakfast with his brother at an old-timey dinerAll in all it was amazing weekend though it wreaked havoc on my diet. 
When we arrived home, I found myself at a turning point in regards to my blog/vlog. With my new lighting and new camera equipment, I have this whole new world of possibilities. So I’ve finally decided to get a dot com and make it official. I’m officially  It’s been a long time in the making and I’m so excited. I’ve planned a lot content so keep an eye out for lots of new things in the future. 
That’s all for now.